By Mark Ambrogi
At first, Samantha Robbins began entering pageants to have fun and gain some speaking skills.
“Now it’s just to experience different walks of life, learn through other people and learn different ways to present myself,” said Robbins, who has been involved in the Miss America organization for five years. “But I do have that goal of one day becoming Miss Indiana. I do want to have that job experience, travel our state and be a representative and give back to this organization for all that it’s given to me.”
Robbins, a 2016 Zionsville Community High School graduate, will compete in the Miss Indiana pageant June 15 through 18 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center. Marissa Stacy and Cassidy Sampson, who will be seniors at ZCHS in August, will compete for Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen. The finals in both competitions will start at 6 p.m. June 18.
Robbins advanced to the Miss Indiana competition by winning the Miss Wabash Valley crown in her first year of eligibility. High school seniors through age 24 are eligible. She participated in Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen (age 13 through junior year) three consecutive years. In 2015, she was one of 10 state finalists and was named Miss Congeniality in the competition.
“This year, we don’t just do fitness. We do bathing suit competitions, which is notoriously controversial and difficult,” Robbins said. “A lot of people think it’s sexist. A lot of people think bathing suits are degrading to women, when in reality, it’s something we choose to be a part of, and we’re proud of. It shows just how far women have come from not being able to show their bodies whatsoever to having the choice to be proud of them. I think that’s something pageants celebrate.”
In addition, interviews are now 10 minutes long, instead of six to eight minutes in the teen competition.
“So I’ve had to work on my fitness and speaking skills,” Robbins said.
Robbins will tap dance for her talent portion in the pageant. For their talent portions, Stacy plans to do a contemporary dance and Sampson will sing.
Stacy won Miss Wabash Valley Outstanding Teen after starting to compete in pageants in September.
“They’re a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of fun people through it,” Stacy said. “And wearing the pretty dresses is a plus.”
Stacy wanted to be Disney princess when she was younger.
“I realized it wasn’t possible for me, because I looked it up, and you have to be 5’4” to be a Disney princess,” said the 5-foot-11 Stacy, who said she was always one of taller girls in her grade.
Stacy, who competed in smaller pageants when she was younger in Texas, moved to Zionsville at the start of her freshman year.
“My mom encouraged it when I was a freshman in high school, but I never wanted to do it,” Stacy said. “This school year, she encouraged me to do it, and I said ‘I’ll do it just for you.’ I did it and really enjoyed it.”
Stacy said she enjoys hanging out with girls before the pageant.
“I’ve become friends with girls all over the state from doing it,” Stacy said.
Stacy and Sampson are good friends.
Sampson, who said she was encouraged by her mother as well, qualified by winning the Miss Fall Festival contest in September.
“My mom told me I should do it, and I trusted her and tried something new,” Sampson said. “The best part is bonding with girls all over the state, and there are many scholarship opportunities, which I really appreciate. The pageant has done so much more for me than I could have ever imagined. It made me better at communication. It opens doors for me.”
For more visit, missindianapageant.com
College: Will attend Ball State to major in visual communications (graphic design) and minor in dance.
Activities: President of Art Club, a 15-year member Village Dance Studio, board member of Zionsville Leos Club. Robbins is staff member of R.O.C.K. (Really Outrageous Christian Kids) at Zionsville Methodist Church, where D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is taught.
Pageant platform: Dare to be drug free.
Activities: Student Council representative, Best Buddies.
Career goal: Broadcast journalist. “My dream school is Pepperdine University in Malibu. They’re good with internships being right outside of LA.”
Pageant platform: “Special hearts. It’s promoting awareness for kids with congenital heart disease. It’s dedicated to my cousin Logan, who was born with a congenital heart defect. He’s 12 now, and he goes around speaking about it.”
Activities: Co-executive president of Student Council. Competes in cross-county, swimming and track and field. Member of Royalaires, the ZCHS show choir. Eagle Kickoff mentor helping freshmen. Also participates in 4-H.
Future plans: “I really like communications and public relations. Theology and anthropology interest me. I’m very interested in Notre Damem because both my parents and older sister goes there.”
Pageant platform: “My platform is, “Proud to be Drug Free. My goal is to promote my platform and encourage everyone to live healthy, drug-free lives.